Dad jokes in the form of puns are a go-to form of humour for many men (and women). While some people will immediately role their eyes in response, others really appreciate a good pun.
According to a study published in Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, processing a pun requires a lot of work from your brain in order for you to “get” it.
Lori Buchanan, a psychology professor and co-author of the study told Scientific American: “The left hemisphere is the linguistic hemisphere, so it's the one that processes most of the language aspects of the pun, with the right hemisphere kicking in a bit later to reveal the word's dual meanings.”
The delivery of a pun primes the brain's left hemisphere to interpret it’s meaning is a specific way. The right side of the brain then joins the party, realising the other “unanticipated” meaning, “triggering what Buchanan calls a ‘surprise reinterpretation’”.
So next time you scoff at a dad joke, remember a lot more work has gone into it than you think.